What Are Trigger Clamps Used For?

The Trigger Clamp is a quick and easy to use clamp and can also be used as a spreader.

There are so many helpful options when it comes to clamps for your project. Each clamp has a specific purpose and function that separates it from the others. I’ve researched through the internet and put together a quick summary on trigger clamps.

What are trigger clamps used for? The trigger clamp can be used for a variety of different applications, from light-duty woodworking to even heavy-duty construction and manufacturing processes. A trigger clamp is a great tool for holding together parts of your workpiece while different tasks are being taken on it such as cutting, gluing, nailing, sanding, and so on.

Keep reading below to learn more about trigger clamps and what they can be used for.

What Is A Trigger Clamp?

A trigger clamp is a device used for holding together workpieces and is operated by a trigger mechanism that is used to adjust its components. The trigger clamp is very versatile and it can be used in different kinds of environments; either in an office, at home, or somewhere else, as well as for different types of work.

The versatility and ease that come with the trigger clamp are mainly because it can be operated using only one hand. For this reason, the trigger clamp is sometimes also referred to as a one-handed bar clamp.

A trigger clamp is made up of several components, including:

The jaws: A trigger clamp is made up of two jaws, one of the jaws is moveable while the other is stationary. The moveable jaw can easily be adjusted by pressing the release lever or button and sliding the jaw along the bar of the clamp. These jaws are normally covered with soft plastic pads that are used to protect the workpiece being clamped from any form of damage.

Most of the jaws of trigger clamps can be reversed so the clamp can be used for spreading (pushing workpieces apart). To reverse the jaws, the stationary jaw must first be unscrewed or unbuttoned from the clamp and then repositioned at the other end of the bar so it faces the opposite direction, and it should then be fastened again to the clamp.

The jaws of the trigger clamp are tightened using the trigger as each time the trigger is pressed, the jaw moves a small distance, enabling the jaws to grip the workpiece firmly.

The trigger: The trigger clamp, as the name suggests, contains a trigger that plays a major role in the operation of the clamp. The trigger is pressed towards the handle, and each time this is done, the jaw moves towards the stationary jaw. The trigger mechanism is essential when one needs to clamp workpieces tightly together with a minimal amount of effort.

The handle: The handle is used to hold onto the clamp as it is used to hold the workpieces together. The handle of the trigger clamp is curved and it is specially designed to create the utmost comfort when holding onto it, as well as provide a tight grip.

The bar: The bar is a long piece of metal whose major function is to support the jaws of the clamp. It is on the bar that the jaw of the clamp moves on. The bar is usually made of metal and is smooth, to allow for the easy sliding of the jaw along it.

The quick-release lever: The quick-release lever is a component of the trigger clamp that is used for adjusting the position of the moveable jaw rapidly. When the lever is pressed down, the jaw is slid along the bar easily until the pressure is removed from the lever.

In some models of the quick-release lever, there is a quick-release button instead of a lever. This lever can be of great benefit as it is perfect when one needs to work as quickly as possible.

What Are Trigger Clamps Used For?

The trigger clamp can be used for a variety of different applications, from light-duty woodworking to even heavy-duty construction and manufacturing processes. A trigger clamp is a great tool for holding together parts of a workpiece while different tasks are being taken on it such as cutting, gluing, nailing, sanding, and so on.

In some trigger clamps, a ratchet mechanism is employed. In these designs of trigger clamps, the ratchet prevents the jaws from sliding out of position, keeping them securely in place until the quick-release lever is held down.

In most models of the trigger clamp, the jaws can also be detached and then be reversed on the bar (replaced on the bar to face the opposite direction). So, apart from clamping together workpieces, the trigger clamp could also be used for spreading, which is pushing two pieces away from each other.

The trigger clamps come in different sizes and this determines the kind of work they can perform, as the bigger clamps are used to handle the heavy workpieces while the smaller clamps are used when working with smaller and more intricate tasks.

The size of a trigger clamp is measured by its jaw opening capacity and its throat depth, just as other clamps are measured. Although, a trigger clamp could also be measured by its spreading capacity if the jaws of the clamp can be reversed and turned into spreaders.

  • The jaw opening of the trigger clamp refers to the maximum possible distance between the moveable jaw and its stationary counterpart. It is essentially how wide the jaws can open when clamping a workpiece. This jaw opening usually depends on the length of the bar, as the bar’s length determines how far the jaws can move.
  • The throat depth, as the name implies, is how deep the throats of the jaws are. The throat depth is measured as the distance from the top edge of the jaw down to the bar of the clamp.
  • The spreading capacity of the clamp refers to how far the jaws can push after the jaws have been reversed.

The trigger clamp is extremely popular among both professionals and DIYers, and this comes as no surprise, as the one-handed nature of the clamp makes sure that one hand is always free when working.

This might not sound like a major advantage, but when you consider the fact that most clamps require two hands for their operation (one hand is needed to position the clamp and the other to tighten it), the trigger clamp provides a great benefit when compared to the other clamps.

The trigger clamp naturally does not exert as much force as a common bar clamp, but due to the large soft plastic pads, the clamps can spread the force over a wide surface so a clamping pad will not be needed. The one-handed system of operation allows you to perform awkward or complicated jobs much quicker than usual. So for easy one-handed operation, make sure you get the trigger clamp.

Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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